By now we are well aware of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 and what they mean at a global level. But did you know there are 3 levels of action in total?
So, the question is, while we can’t act globally right now, what can we be doing locally and in our own power as a global citizen to enact real change? At the end of the day, if we can’t make the small changes that help the big ones, we will struggle to reach these global goals for humanity.
To put things into perspective, if the population reaches 9.6 billion (est. 7.8 billion people in the world today) by 2050, almost 3 planets would be required to sustain our current lifestyles. In our most recent webinar on sustainable development we shared this video which we think empowers us to realise that NOBODY should be left behind.
“The goals can change the world for everyone. Year by year. Goal by goal. If we all work together to achieve them. Because on Earth, everyone has a mission.”
If all sectors of society do their part in this sustainable action plan, we can create the necessary transformations for the world. With this in mind, what have you been doing to make the world a more sustainable place?
There are still many members of society who still don’t see the purpose of small acts of change. There are those who overlook the terrific reusable straw for example, their criticism being that these problems of pollution are bigger than us, that we couldn’t possibly make ‘a difference’ as an individual. But if there is anything we have learnt, it is that with the right attitude and passion for change anything is possible, because many small acts can combine to have a big impact.
Since starting my path to sustainable living, I have encouraged as many people as I can to get a reusable straw. While it may only be 30 people or so, that’s still millions of straws over our lifetime that will be eliminated from landfill. While I know there are still many single use users, I am hopeful that the sustainable movement will continue to grow and we will have people trying to reduce their waste. We can’t forget that we all have the ability to influence change in our own communities.
As another example, our Student Engagement Manager, Kirsty, is a vegetarian. She shared with us that since becoming a vegetarian, many of the meals that her family eat are now meat free as well. Through her choice and her ability to educate those around her, she instilled a sustainable act in other people's lives.
If you’re not sure where to start making small acts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, first look at your understanding of the world and your place within it. Determine what you want to be achieving and ask yourself, ‘how can I play an active role in society at home?’ We found this helpful video that breaks down each goal into some simple actions we can all do. We all have the capacity to live sustainably, we may just need some help at first.
Consider now what resources you may have to help. In our webinar we talked about our networks and we asked participants who they could unite with to make a difference. Some had connections to university groups, sporting clubs and community ties, others had history volunteering for charity, and many of us felt our work colleagues were our best support.
Social media and just talking to others was another key resource mentioned. When we connect online, we have the opportunity to reach a huge audience and have important discussions like these. We encourage you to follow people and actions online and share these amongst your own friends and followers. Our India Program Manager, Jordy, also talked about the use of the SDGs in Action app available for free which connects us to see the importance of the SDGs, where you can join and create different ‘actions’ to do as an online community.
It is crucial to continue talking about the SDGs and help people recognise that they are relevant to us all. We should respect them and accept them into our daily routines because local actions do have a global impact. If you’re not in a position to donate your time or money to local or global causes, there are so many things you can be doing in your daily life to achieve these goals.
So, look at making those small changes in your home, invest some time to see where you could help in your local community and think about downloading the SDGs in Action app.
If you are interested in understanding more and what we’re doing to reach these goals in these challenging times, click here to watch our most recent webinar. If you would like to do more, we have our charity fundraiser open and when we can, we’d love you to join us on a challenge.
“If we consider ourselves a part of the global community, then no matter where we are, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to act.” - Jordy (Futuresense Foundation)